Rep. Jim Hagedorn has claimed that Minnesota has not protected patients in nursing homes from COVID-19. As a physician who has cared for COVID patients in the hospital, and discharged them to a nursing home (which is, after all, their *home*), I know that he fails to understand the challenges of caring for patients with COVID in nursing homes, and how the facilities in Southern Minnesota have met that challenge.
Mr. Hagedorn implies that it was dangerous to discharge COVID patients to skilled facilities, which is not true. Once the patient is recovering from COVID and no longer needs care that can only be provided in a hospital (e.g. IV medications, frequent monitoring of vital signs), the patient can be safely discharged to their home even if it is a nursing facility – as long as the facilities have PPE for their staff and can isolate potentially infectious patients from other residents. As a physician, I would never discharge a patient when it is unsafe for the patient, other residents or the staff. That is in stark contrast to President Trump, who was discharged from the hospital while still receiving IV medications and needing close vital sign monitoring ... and, based on the photos, was not isolated from the other residents and staff at the White House.
Chris McCoy, M.D., Rochester